Aberrant lipid metabolism in prostate tumors is linked to aggressive disease and poor outcomes. The purpose of this study was to identify mechanisms by which lipid metabolism in prostate cancer cells influences the tumor immune microenvironment, with emphasis on the activation of macrophages. Our hypothesis that fatty acid synthase-driven de novo lipogenesis promotes immune evasion via alternative M2-like macrophage activation was tested using human monocyte (U937)-derived macrophages co-cultured with prostate cancer cells in the presence of fatty acid synthase inhibitors. Monocytes were differentiated to macrophages in vitro using phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate for 48 hours prior to co-culture with prostate cancer cells. Macrophage polarization following co-culture with prostate cancer cells was evaluated using multi-parameter flow cytometry to detect established M1 (CD80, CD86) and M2 (CD163, CD206) markers. Furthermore, the expression of fatty acid synthase and pan-macrophage marker CD68 in human prostate tumor tissue microarrays was evaluated using multiplex immunohistochemistry. The lipogenic enzyme and macrophage staining correlated with disease progression, reaching peak levels in metastatic tissues. These findings indicate that tumoral fatty acid synthase is an important mediator of tumor-immune crosstalk, particularly in the context of aggressive and metastatic prostate cancer. These data further suggest that fatty acid synthesis represents a targetable complement to immune-enhancing therapies by modulating tumor cell metabolism, underscoring the need for further evaluation of agents targeting lipid metabolism in prostate cancer.

Citation Format: Shannalee R. Martinez, Carla Barrientos Risso, Ralphdy Vergne, Nathan R. Wall, Julie Dutil, Carlos A. Casiano, Gilberto Ruiz-Deya, Carlos Joel Diaz Osterman. Tumor lipogenesis influences macrophage polarization in advanced prostate cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2022; 2022 Apr 8-13. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2022;82(12_Suppl):Abstract nr 2559.